The Schooner Effie M. Morrissey at furthest north at 80 degrees 22 minutes 3o seconds North Latitude


Charmichael (she) was taken to the Philadelphia Zoo

Hundreds of experiments and studies were carried out from the Morrissey's decks over the years including charting Greenland and Alaskan waters, oceanographic sampling, Arctic plant and animal collections and anthropological studies of Innuit life.

In 1940 the Morrissey set a record for furthest north at 80 degrees 22 minutes North Latitude. That's only 578 nautical miles from the North Pole!

As a result of the Pathe Newsreels that were produced and the incredible effort by the Bartlet's Boys of the 1940 expedition especially, notably Fred Littleton, Austen Colgate, John Pitcairn, Jim Pond, David Nutt, Reggie Wilcox, George Hodge and others, there is a great record we will be adding on this page as we get to it from time to time.

If you would like to read a logbook from this trip click here to go to John Pitcairn's log....

Captain Robert A. Bartlett

The Mates Watch

William Bartlett, Mate
Austin Colgate
George Hodge
Arthur Manice
Albert Barnes
Rupert Bartlett

The Boatswain’s Watch

George Richards, Boatswain
Albert Hoffman, Jr.
Warren Ripley
Edward A. Darr, Jr.
Samuel Bartlett
John P. Pitcairn


George Bartlett’s Watch

George Bartlett
Charlie Batten
Fred Littleton

Albert Park
James Pond
Reginald Wilcox, Cameraman

Extra Hands

William Pritchard---Cook
Thomas Pritchard--- Asst. Cook
Leonard Gushue--- Chief Engineer

Bart Gushue--- Asst. Engineer
James Dooley---A. B.
David Nutt ---Curator
Alan Eurich—Radioman
Dr. Mantor---Ship’s Doctor


Frederick C. Littleton taking photos (right), Fred often gave Reggi Wilcox a hand when the film footage was needed from aloft

Bringing in a polar bear cub to be taken to a zoo. This may be Charmichael who ended up at the Philadelphia Zoo. Aboard the boat are Art Manice, Reggi Wilcox (photographer), David Nutt, Rupert Bartlett, and George Hodge.

The ship sails along with a good wind up

Here is an article that appeared after the ship returned.
Bartlett often made papers like the New York Times.

In the photo from the NYTimes the identity of each is (left to right)
Sitting on the main gaff beginning aft and working forward: Warren Ripley (who was shot down and killed while flying during the war), Fred Littleton, and George Hodge
Standing: Jim Pond, Albert Barnes (we called him shellback because he "always knew everything"), the captain, John Pitcairn (sitting and holding the life ring), Ed Darr, Austen Colgate

Shown on the deck of the Effie M. Morrissey on October 29, 1941 is Frederick R. Gracely, National Bureau of Standards (NBS); Louise Arner Boyd; Archer S. Taylor, NBS; and T. A. Carrol, US Coast Guard radio operator.

This five-month Greenland Expedition was the 7th into the Arctic regions sponsored by Louise A. Boyd of San Francisco, CA, during the period of 1926 to 1941. At the request of Lyman A. Briggs, Director of the Department of Commerce National Bureau of Standards,  Miss Boyd, for the first time, set a course along the west coast of Greenland into the Baffin Bay region. It was the first opportunity by NBS for an extensive study of the ionosphere at Arctic latitudes. Photo from Archer S. Taylor.

An Excerpt from the U.S. Department of Commerce Technical News Bulletin of the National Bureau of Standards, Washington, December 1941, Number 296:

Return of Louise A. Boyd Arctic Expedition

It was announced in Technical News Bulletin 291 (July 1941) that the Louise A. Boyd Arctic Expedition, carrying on scientific work for the Bureau sailed from Washington on June 11. It returned to Washington November 3 after a successful voyage up the west coast of Greenland and down the coast of Baffin Land and Labrador. The personnel of the expedition included Miss Louise A. Boyd, leader; A. S. Taylor and F. R. Gracely, of the Bureau's Radio Section; a radio operator detailed by the Coast Guard; a physician; Capt. Robert A. Bartlett, master of the ship,. the Effie M. Morrissey; and a crew of eleven.

Miss Boyd contributed her long experience as an arctic explorer and the services of this expedition, to aid in the Bureau's radio work, having been appointed a consulting expert of the Bureau on a dollar a year basis.

The principle purpose of the expedition was to secure data on radio-wave propagation in the regions traversed. Special radio recording equipment and apparatus for determining characteristics of the ionosphere were taken and were operated continuously throughout the voyage. The ionosphere is the electrically conducting region high in the earth's atmosphere which makes long-distance radio transmission possible. Indirect evidence had indicated that radio transmission conditions in the arctic regions differ considerably from those elsewhere. As the paths traversed by radio waves from the United States to many parts of the world include arctic regions, it was important to secure data on the radio conditions there. This objective was very satisfactorily achieved by the expedition.

The same conditions in the ionosphere which affect radio transmissions affect other physical happenings also, especially terrestrial magnetism. For this reason magnetic data are also of interest in the scientific study of radio transmission, and the expedition carried magnetic measurement equipment, loaned for the purpose by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. Valuable data were secured on magnetism and also on the aurora, the effects of which are closely related to magnetism and to radio transmission. Continuous measurements were also made on ultraviolet light intensity.

The Government is indebted to Miss Boyd for her effective leadership of the expedition and is gratified with the results achieved. z

The following information came from Microsoft Encarta:

Louise Arner Boyd

Boyd, Louise Arner (1887-1972), American explorer of the Arctic Ocean and the first woman to fly over the North Pole. Boyd was born to a wealthy family in San Rafael, California, a suburb of San Francisco. Boyd inherited her family's fortune in 1920 and spent the next few years traveling in Europe. Her interest in polar exploration began in 1924 when she first visited Arctic regions aboard a Norwegian cruise ship. Two years later Boyd chartered a Norwegian ship and took a group of friends on a trip from Norway into the Arctic Ocean. They visited Franz Josef Land, the island chain north of European Russia, where they hunted polar bears and seals. In 1928 Boyd led an expedition to find Norwegian Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen, who had disappeared while flying a rescue mission in search of Italian explorer and engineer Umberto Nobile. Financing the venture herself, Boyd set out on behalf of the Norwegian government on a voyage across about 16,100 km (about 10,000 mi) of the Arctic Ocean, exploring from Franz Josef Land in the east to the Greenland Sea in the west. She was unable to find any trace of Amundsen, but for her efforts the Norwegian government awarded Boyd the Chevalier Cross of the Order of Saint Olav.

Beginning in 1931, Boyd undertook a series of nearly annual expeditions to the Arctic. That year she and an exploring party sailed to Greenland's northeastern coast, where they examined glacial formations and photographed Arctic plant and animal life. She earned recognition for her explorations of the little-known De Geer Glacier when an adjoining region was later named Louise Boyd Land. In 1933 Boyd led an expedition sponsored by the American Geographical Society. Her scientific team again studied the fjords and glaciers on Greenland's northeastern coast and, using a sonic device, measured the offshore ocean depths. In 1937, and again in 1938, Boyd continued her ocean-depth research in the Arctic seas northeast of Norway. These two expeditions helped determine that an undersea mountain ridge spans the ocean floor between Bear Island and Jan Mayen Island.

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 halted Boyd's explorations until 1941, when she undertook an Arctic expedition sponsored by the United States government. She studied the effects of polar magnetic phenomena on radio communications and later served as an adviser on military strategy in the Arctic. [This was the voyage on the Morrissey.] In 1949 the U.S. Army awarded her a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition for this work. Boyd returned to the Arctic again in 1955 when, at the age of 68, she hired an airplane and became the first woman to fly over the North Pole. She spent her remaining years in San Francisco. Boyd wrote about her explorations in newspaper articles and in her books The Fjord Region of East Greenland (1935) and The Coast of Northeast Greenland (1948).

Contributed by: Alan Wexler

"Boyd, Louise Arner" Microsoft(R) Encarta.
Copyright(c) 1995 Microsoft Corporation.

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